The year is 1845, the earliest days of the Oregon Trail, and a wagon team of three families has hired the mountain man Stephen Meek to guide them over the Cascade Mountains. Claiming to know a short cut, Meek leads the group on an unmarked path across the high plain desert.
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Reichardt's revisionist Western provides a strikingly human take on Oregon Trail mythology. Amid all the unknowing, fear and terror and hope and humor rise up like onions slowly shriveling in a frying pan.
In genre called "western" which is also history in America, women is depicted as small supporting role or object through male gaze. "Meek's Cutoff" is ambitious & beautifully sublime film which retells western/history by perspective of women peripheral & abused. Maybe because of this, Reichardt becomes one of most important director in the world. OVERWHELMING.
Now this is a film. Beautifully captured, great camera work and astonishing use of colors. You don't feel slow parts because even when the camera wonders there's something meaningful going on; you can see it in the duration of the gestures. It is without a doubt a great cinematic experience and a insightful story. Great ending.
Loneliness and growing paranoia creep along the edges of this quietly haunting western about a small wagon train heading west under the guidance of a mysterious frontiersman that the pioneers begin to mistrust. Austere and carefully modulated, MEEK'S CUTOFF is a marvel of artistic and emotional restraint.
Picturesque shots and a sense of the ethereal pervade from early on, complimenting the eerie tone and mysteriousness of the subject matter. Has a fantastic feel to it as well, which is enhanced by the acting and dry sound design.